Julie Wyllie, baptised in 2012 and a member of TCF for the last 3 years, has never taken part in an organised walk before and yet she has compelling reasons for taking on the biggest challenge of her life – a gruelling 5-day trek through the Indian Himalayas!

The Dalai Lama Trek in May 2020 will cover a distance of 65 kilometres and is certainly not for the faint hearted, as each long day entails significant climbs and descents over varied terrain and trails, guaranteed to be rocky and testing under foot. 

So why do it and why choose this route?

“As a family we have gone through a particularly difficult year and I appreciated so much the prayers and support I had from TCF during those times.  Also over recent years I have seen many people that I know and love be affected by cancer.  This, together with the awareness that survival rates have doubled over the last 20 years, has compelled me to support the aim that one day all cancers will be cured, by raising money to help achieve that.”

“Originally, I had planned to go to the Great Wall of China because it sounded really appealing and a place I had always wanted to visit” explained Julie.   “However, I changed my mind and chose instead India because I knew TCF already had connections with the country and that there are ongoing issues in India with Christianity.  So, for me, this trek will certainly be, spiritually and culturally, a more significant challenge.”

Two other significant challenges right now

The first is to build her fitness and strength up through increasing each week, time spent in the gym and swimming, as well as becoming a novice rambler.  Closer to retirement age now, Julie freely admits

“my last sporting challenge was a sponsored swim when I was at school – but I surpassed what people thought I would do then and I am confident I will do that again! “

The second challenge is what it’s all about – raising as much money as she can for cancer research.   Although she could have joined the trek for less, Julie said

“I have committed to raise £3,000 before Gift Aid for Cancer Research UK by the deadline of the end of January.”

 Julie has set up a JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/julie-wyllie

“I hope this feature might attract new donors and for those who are UK tax payers encourage them to boost funds by ticking the box for Gift Aid.”   She continued.  “That way a £50 donation, for example, can attract £12.50 in additional gift aid from the Government.  I will also be organising a variety of fund raising events to help boost the funds throughout this year.”

Spectacular, spiritual and sublime

….is the description given in the trek itinerary for the Kingdom of Gaddi.   The colourful region of North India, with its spectacular views including the snow capped peaks of the surrounding range, is a far cry for this Yorkshire lass who has now spent two thirds of her life in Scotland and trained as a nurse in the Royal Navy, before dedicating her life at a senior level to the care industry.

“I am under no illusion as to how challenging this trek will be for me so I will hang on to those three words throughout the experience” she explained.  “In the meantime, I am so encouraged by the generous donations through my justgiving page and I pray this will steadily increase over the coming months.”

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Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash